• Divorce in the Digital Age

    When faced with a topic we are unfamiliar with or that we find daunting, more than ever before, we have tendency to go online and “do our own research”, arm ourselves with knowledge and draw our own conclusions before making a decision that is right for us.

  • Introduction to Family Dispute Resolution

    When dealing with family conflict, the law always encourages parties to resolve their disputes without having to resort to litigation, and there are a number of dispute resolution mechanisms available. The affected parties have the option to engage with a process of their own choosing or alternatively, can seek the assistance of the court who may refer the parties to family counselling, family dispute resolution, or other alternative family services as outlined in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (the FLA).

  • Getting a divorce? Here’s what proof you need

    Under Australian law, a reason is not required to be given for an application for divorce. However, there must still be proof of the marriage’s ‘irretrievable breakdown’ in order for a divorce to be granted by the courts. Section 48 of the Family Law Act (the FLA) dictates that the court will only make an order for divorce if the parties have shown that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage by separating from one another for at least one year (note this does not require living separately). Other elements also must be proven to show an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ to allow the court to grant the parties a divorce.

  • The Owies Trust Controversy: When Family and Finances Collide

    Trusts can be a powerful tool for preserving and distributing family wealth. The Owies Family Trust, with its generous asset base and complex beneficiary structure, appeared to be a model of financial planning. However, the estrangement of key family members in 2011 set off a chain of events that challenged the very essence of trust law.

  • Family Reports / Expert Reports / Disclosure / Cross Examination

    There is a distinction between Family Reports and Expert Reports in Family Law proceedings.

  • The treatment of monies advanced to a party: gift or loan

    Family members commonly help out their adult children or grandchildren through the provision of financial assistance, and this is likely to continue during fraught economic times.

  • What happens when a party passes away during Family Court property proceedings?

    Where a spouse passes away before property proceedings have concluded, the proceedings can be continued by the legal personal representative of the deceased party under s.79(8) of the Family Law Act 1975.

  • Wills, EPAs and EPGs: what could possibly go wrong?

    J and S are happily married. They each sign a Will that benefits the other. They also enter into an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG) appointing each other to these important positions. All is good on the home front! What could possibly go wrong?

  • [Case Summary] The Treatment of Initial Contributions per Jabour & Jabour [2019] FamCAFC 78

    In the matter of Jabour, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia dealt with property settlement orders made by the trial judge. The trial judge had divided the net non-superannuation assets 66% to the husband and 34% to the wife. The Full Court reassessed the division as 53% to the husband and 47% to the wife.

  • What happens should both parties pass away during Family Court property proceedings?

    The answer is simple, the Family Court has no jurisdiction to do anything when both parties pass away during Family Court property proceedings other than strike out the application.